Calm festive season at the coast

Minor incidents

11 January 2021 | Crime

Inspector Ileni Shapumba; “… we cannot replace the lives lost or the damaged cause... ”

Walvis Bay • [email protected]

It was a relatively quiet and relaxed festive season at the coast.

The commander of community affairs in the Erongo region, Inspector Ileni Shapumba, said that the crime statistics for the recently concluded festive season compared to the 2019/2020 festive season, will be made available in due time.

“We charged 13 people for driving under the influence of alcohol during the Christmas / New Year’s Day period. Five people were charged on Christmas weekend and two more charged during the week after Christmas. Over the New Year’s weekend, six drivers were charged for driving under the influence of alcohol.”

Only five accidents occurred over the two weeks from Christmas to New Year.

“Three accidents occurred on the main road, the B2, and two accidents on the road from Otjimbingwe to Karibib. Over the New Year’s weekend, three accidents took place: One between Karibib and Usakos; one between Walvis Bay and Swakopmund; and another on the Otjimbingwe and Karibib road. No serious injuries or fatalities were recorded from any of the accidents,” Shapumba said.

A murder case was opened in Mondesa over the New Year’s weekend, as well as cases of domestic violence, common assault and malicious damage to property.

“These cases can all be attributed to the abuse of alcohol,” Shapumba said.

There were also no drownings reported over the two-week period from Christmas to New Year’s.

“In general it was calm and people’s behaviour was commendable, in spite of several reports of public nuisance. Entertainment places closed early, so people bought their alcohol ahead of time and partied at their homes. We had to deal with quite a number of these incidents.”

According to Shapumba, the police have taken cognisance of a trend involving shebeen and bar owners who close their establishments and take alcohol home where they sell it.

“We condemn this practise. It is reckless and it needs to stop. The reason there is a restriction to sale of alcohol is to exercise control and prevent further gatherings.”

Roadblocks

The police were visible at roadblocks to observe and inspect the fitness of the cars and drivers.

“We checked tyre pressure and vehicle road worthiness. It was worrisome to see that some drivers do not check their tyre pressure or do wheel balancing. This is very important when you are travelling.”

Although there was a slight delay at the roadblocks due to inspections, the people were calm.

“We are very grateful towards people for letting us do our job, which is to ensure their safety. No accidents were reported on the B2 road after our operations at the roadblocks. It was a very busy festive season last year compared to the recently concluded one.”

Reflecting on the year that was, Shapumba called on the public to support the police.

“We had a number of major cases in our region in 2020, coupled with a few demonstrations where it was demanded that we need to pull up our socks. We do not just want demonstrations before or when someone is arrested.”

Shapumba said that the police would like to see the same support by the public after an arrest and court appearance has been made.

“We should support one another until the day of prosecution and conviction. The police cannot replace lives lost or the damaged caused, but we understand the suffering. We do not want anyone to suffer at the hands of crime. Our efforts to curb crime should be recognised. We hope and are working towards a crime free nation.”

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